Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Hangman's Daughter | Review

The Hangman's Daughter was published in 2008 and is the first in a quartet written by Oliver Potzch.  This book chronicles a witch hunt that takes placed in Germany during the 1660s after a boy mysteriously dies at the town's dock.   This sets off a series of children's deaths that are complicated by local economic and political conflicts, as well as the ethical and moral implications of a witch hunt.  The local hangman, his daughter, and the town physician set out to unravel the mystery of the deaths to ensure the right culprit is punished.

Source Image: Goodreads

I purchased this book on my Kindle on accident - it was on the Daily Deal and I thought I was purchasing The Madman's Daughter, a YA spin-off from The Island of Doctor Moreau.  Surprisingly,despite what I thought I was originally reading the plot of The Hangman's Daughter was really intriguing.  I enjoyed getting the local politics and folklore of Schongau and unravelling the mystery of the murders.  The plot frequently changed perspectives- first a third person perspective of the town, and then a first person perspective from the mysterious murder.

The first 80% of the book was great, the plot was fast paced and it was detailed enough to understand the conflicting relationships between all of the townspeople for really fleshed out characters and culture.  However, once the mystery started unravelling the book fell flat for me and I wasn't interested in finding out who the murdered was.  To be quite honest, this might not be the book's fault- I have the same problem with other mystery and horror novels that I read, where the build up is more exciting than the resolution.  Some of the mystery may have been lost in the translation as well (originally written in German).

 Overall, the end I ended up only giving the book 2/5 stars on Goodreads but despite that low rating I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a well developed, character driven plot. I do not plan on reading the other three books in The Hangman's Daughter quartet.


  1. Hello Heather! I found your blog thanks to the Read-A-Thon. I hope you don’t mind, but I tagged you for the Liebster award. Please feel free to continue the tag or not.

  2. I guess this was an accident that didn't pay off :)

  3. Sorry it ended up being a disappointment. That cover and that synopsis though... sounds so intriguing!
    By the way, I am a new follower, getting ready for the readathon on Saturday :)
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